Israel’s gas mask distribution centers are reporting a significant rise in the number of civilians seeking protection against chemical weapons.
Over the past two days distribution centers gave out 3,700gas mask kits each day, Maariv reported Wednesday. By comparison, since the beginning of February 2010 the distribution centers, located in post offices and malls around the country, distributed kits to about 2,200 people a day.
Despite the surge in interest, sources said there are still plenty of gas masks in stock.
So far the government has given out 4.2 million gas mask kits at distribution centers. However, Haaretz reported Tuesday that 47 percent of the population is still without kits.
The jump in interest in gas masks comes amid fears that terror groups may gain control of Syria’s large stockpile of chemical weapons. Officials say Syria could transfer the weapons to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Tuesday that such a move would be cause for Israel to go to war.
On Tuesday, IDF chief Benny Gantz said Syria still had control of its stockpiles but that this could change. He warned that an Israeli strike on Syrian chemical weapons could escalate into a wider confrontation.